Teen’s vehicular manslaughter case moved to adult court

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, March 25, 2020

NASHVILLE (AP) — A teenage driver will face charges including vehicular manslaughter in adult court for a fiery collision that claimed the life of a Nashville police officer, a judge ruled Monday.

The transfer of Jayona Brown’s case to adult court means she could receive a more severe punishment if convicted.

Brown was 17 when she drove through an intersection on July 4, 2019, hitting officer John Anderson’s cruiser and pushing it into a utility pole, investigators alleged. The cruiser then caught fire.

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Police said Brown had sped away from an officer who tried to pull her over minutes before the crash. Anderson, a 28-year-old officer, was responding to a call and also speeding when the cars collided, The Tennessean reported, citing police. Anderson was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, according to investigators.

Brown was also charged with felony evading arrest, aggravated assault by recklessness, driving on a suspended license and juvenile curfew violation, news outlets reported.

On Monday, a juvenile court judge cited evidence presented during a transfer hearing, as well as Brown’s prior record, in her decision to move the case to the adult system, WTVF-TV reported.

Brown’s attorney has argued both parties contributed to the crash. He said the matter should be settled in civil court, according to The Tennessean.